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Wages and corporate social responsibility: entrenchment or ethics?

Patricia Crifo (Centre de Recherche en Économie et de Statistiques (CREST), CNRS, École Polytechnique, GENES, ENSAE Paris, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Palaiseau, France) (CIRANO, Montreal, Canada)
Marc-Arthur Diaye (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne (CES), Paris, France)
Sanja Pekovic (University of Montenegro, Kotor, Montenegro)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 5 December 2022

Issue publication date: 1 February 2023




In this article the authors examine how corporate social responsibility (CSR) affects the wage policy of firms. At the first glance, one may think that socially responsible firms want to attract employees via ethical concerns and corporate culture, thereby inducing a negative link between CSR and wages. On the other side, socially responsible firms can be expected to increase wages as social entrenchment strategies.


In order to correct for potential endogeneity bias, the authors employ a simultaneous equation model (SEM) on a French data set that includes 13,186 employees.


The authors show that CSR has an ambiguous impact on corporate wage policy depending on the type of monetary incentives and employee's occupation considered.


The authors extend prior research on the CSR–wage relationship by distinguishing between different forms of monetary incentives: the base wage, total wage and premium wage. Their results draw attention to the fact that the employees' occupation do matter. The evidence confirms that the effect of CSR on the wage is not to be taken for granted: it is wage form and occupation specific.



Patricia Crifo acknowledges the support of the program, IdR FDIR-Sustainable finance and responsible investment (2016-2022).


Crifo, P., Diaye, M.-A. and Pekovic, S. (2023), "Wages and corporate social responsibility: entrenchment or ethics?", Employee Relations, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp. 495-515.



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